Beth Benalloul has always been drawn to real estate. However, her love of spinning, aerobics, and personal training took over until she embarked on her own homebuying journey 15 years ago.
“I was looking to purchase my own apartment at one point, and it got me interested in and fascinated with the whole real estate world,” Benalloul told Inman. “I always loved homes, decor, and interior design, and this seemed like a natural next step once I started doing a [home] search for myself and saw what was involved with it.”
After earning her license, Benalloul joined Corcoran and began selling swanky, multi-million dollar listings in Manhattan. Although she became part of Corcoran’s Group Multi-Million Dollar Club her first year, Benalloul said the transition from personal trainer to real estate agent was far from easy, as she relied on family and friends to build word of mouth.
“Obviously, it’s largely a referral business,” she said. “It takes time to get started in the business and it can be very frustrating. In the beginning, you spend a lot of time chasing leads that don’t end up amounting to anything.”
“[But] when you take care of clients, they’re very inclined to refer you to their friends or family members,” she added. “You sort of grow like a tree — you start small and then you branch out, and the branches keep going and going.”
Benalloul said her experience as a personal trainer pushed her through her rookie year, as she already knew how to cater to clients’ specific needs.
“There’s actually a lot of similarities between personal training and selling residential real estate because it’s really personal, and you have to be good with people,” she explained. “You also have to want to help people, so I think both of them are similar in that regard. [Real estate] is definitely a people business, and that’s what I like.”
Since then, Benalloul has grown her real estate empire to include five team members, including her husband, Sammy, who helps her manage deals around the clock.
“I would say the best thing for me is that because real estate can be so all-encompassing, I think having a partner who’s also your husband, you can talk through all the deals and all the ins-and-outs,” she said. “Sometimes, we’ll be at home and it’s eight or nine o’clock at night, and I’ll be talking to a client, and he’s giving me ideas on what to tell them because he’s also involved in the deal.”
“[He] Even helps with silly things, like before I send an email, I’ll say, ‘Read this and let me know what you think,’” she said with a laugh. “[Your business] can be very strong because you’re living with your business partner.”
Beyond her success in the office, Benalloul said she’s proud of the life she’s built outside of the office, which includes mentoring new agents, nurturing her passion for fitness, raising her three sons, and volunteering in her community.
“I’m definitely a multitasker,” she said of how she balances it all. “I’ll be sitting on the beach with my kids while I’m emailing or calling a client at the same time. Real estate can be a 24/7 job, especially at a higher level.”
“But, being a mom, there’s definitely a balance and you have to learn how to multitask,” she added. “That’s the only way to do it.”
Benalloul said the coronavirus has given her the opportunity to slow down, reflect, and identify ways she can better serve her clients while spending more time with her family.
“I’ve been learning new things, whether it’s technology or different ways to enhance my business going forward,” she said. “I’ve also been spending a lot of time reaching out to clients to see how they’re doing and making sure they’re healthy.”
For agents who are starting out, especially right now, Benalloul said persistence is the key to succeeding.
“Be persistent because sometimes you get a client and you have to stay on them and it takes a long time to get that client to do something,” she said. “When you get knocked down, which happens a lot in real estate, you have to get back up as quickly as possible.
“If you have that, then you can succeed in this business,” she concluded. You can’t always take things personally. You have to keep going.”
We’re highlighting agents with extraordinary stories through our feature, Agent Plus. Do you know someone who should be highlighted for their work inside and outside of the office? Send your nominations to AgentPlus@inman.com.